We here at TheJournalix.com can’t go a minute without playing our favourite songs, talking about the latest tune we’ve heard, sharing our newly discovered artist or re-discovering an album that just won’t quit, and so it has come for us to write up our favourite tunes for the year of 2015. We did the same thing last year, check it out here. The criteria again is that the song has to have been released in one format or another during this year, whether that be as a single, on an LP or EP, remixed, featured in a film released or charted for the first time during these past 12 months. Basically we’re open-minded and making any old excuse to include a song that has received a lot of attention from us in 2015 but we must be clear that it’s OUR list. It’s 10 songs each from Joni, Una and Alix. We’re not under the pressure of compiling this in conjunction with it’s chart success or who they are sleeping with. One more rule though – an artist can not appear on the list twice. So hold your breath, feel free to have your say but most of all – take our advice and listen to some of these songs, for one of them may just change your life. The Top 30* (in no particular order) goes like this, and I think you’ll agree it’s been quite a year:
This was a more difficult task to complete this year than it was last year. I’ve gone for a mix, but I simply went for the 10 artists I have played more than any other this year (that and they also had to be current, for The Beatles still get more plays than any other). I must give a special mention to Blossoms and Wolf Alice, for not only have they dominated 2015 but I think they’re just going to get bigger and better, so expect to see them in the 2016 list too!
01. Blown Rose – Blossoms (Blown Rose EP)
I’ve seen these live a number of times and they don’t disappoint. Supremely talented bunch of lads from Stockport, their set is polished we just await the debut LP to back it up. This EP suggests big things are on the horizon.
02. Under The Shadows – Rae Morris (Unguarded)
Rae first came to prominence appearing with Bombay Bicycle Club with the standout track of 2014 Luna (see here) and her rather unusual vocals sound gorgeous in full flow, the beat with this one really carries.
03. Distant Past – Everything Everything (Get To Heaven)
I was really surprised by the amount of coverage this album got, a band that have always delivered (if not always when playing live due to the ambitious vocals they manage to nail on the records) and have done once more. The album art kicks ass too!
04. My Terracotta Heart – Blur (The Magic Whip)
Blur will always make good music (as long as they all get along with each other) but this was a real surprise. A slow burner, it’s one of those tracks that I wasn’t blown away with at first but given my previous relationship with the band (ie. I love them) I now can’t stop listening to this. Liam Gallagher of all people reckons Lonesome Street is song of the year(!), but I reckon this is the best thing on the album.
05. Pedestrian At Best – Courtney Barnett (Sometimes I Sit and Think, and Sometimes I Just Sit)
A Glastonbury highlight for me, whatever this Australian musician (or a social commentator almost?) lacks in natural musical talent she makes up for with fantastic, often hilarious lyrics. A Morrissey from Down Under? She’s just missing her Marr.
06. This Could Be Us – Rae Sremmurd (SremmLife)
07. Writing’s On The Wall – Sam Smith (Spectre soundtrack)
I can’t say I’m a huge fan of Sam Smith’s previous work despite the hype, and this is everything I expected it to be. But when listening to this the film fan inside me, even before seeing the Spectre (2015) movie, couldn’t help but imagine scenes of Bond jumping from a burning building, kissing the exotic yet evil woman and looking all moody whilst walking at a fast speed. And that’s the beauty of a good soundtrack.
08. You’re A Germ – Wolf Alice (My Love Is Cool)
09. Coastal Tones – Orphan Boy (Coastal Tones)
10. Can’t Feel My Face – The Weeknd (Beauty Behind the Madness)
Not since Justin Timberlake (stay with me) has there been such a good Michael Jackson impression. There are parts of this song that sound off key and not quite right, that almost make me feel uncomfortable, and yet in some sort of sick sadistic manner it feels good, my foot taps away and I can’t help myself from singing along. It’s just a very good pop song. Song of the Year for something like the Grammys? It has to be up there. The video is crap though.
I must point out that I was feeling very generous when we compiled this list as many of my highlights are included in Alix and Joni’s lists but due to the rule of picking 30 different artists I let them have them. In truth I found it so difficult to choose only 10, it made sense to give up on some so at least most of my favourites were still included in the final list! Perhaps the most difficult thing was selecting just one track from The Maccabees as they gave me my album of the year…
11. Marks To Prove It – The Maccabees (Marks To Prove It)
I love a good tilt-shift, so the video starts off good and at such a pace that picks up nicely with the haunting vocals of Orlando Weeks, then it builds to such a crescendo… It was difficult to decide between this and Spit It Out (the promo videos from the album are linked by the way – well worth a watch). Great live. Makes me wish I could play.
…OK I’m changing my mind. I’m going for Spit It Out instead, and the album version at that with the beautiful intro:
11. Spit It Out – The Maccabees (Marks To Prove It)
12. Not Letting Go – Tinie Tempah feat. Jess Glynne (I Cry When I Laugh deluxe edition)
I could be critical of the scally wag theme to the video, the lyrics that I could write whilst on the toilet and Jess Glynne’s weird vocal but when there’s a beat so good, a tune that won’t let go (pun intended) AND it soundtracks a summer’s day so well, well, it makes our top 30 tracks of the year of course!
13. My Love – Circa Waves (Young Chasers)
14. Photograph – Ed Sheeran (x)
There’s no doubt this kid has got talent. I might not be as big a fan as everybody else, but this is a lovely little melody and the lyrics perfectly accompany a video of true love between a parent and child. I cry nearly every time I see it. It’s a good job I’m not such a huge fan.
15. Let It Happen – Tame Impala (Currents)
More psychedelic tunes to lose yourself to from this Australian outfit. Takes me back to my summer holiday, music to live to.
16. Mountain At My Gates – Foals (What Went Down)
17. Heroine – Genghar
18. The Wolf – Mumford & Sons (Wilder Mind)
19. Ballad Of The Mighty I – Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds (Chasing Yesterday)
This track features Johnny Marr apparently. Another fun fact – the album title ‘Chasing Yesterday’ (a lyric from album track While the Song Remains the Same) was picked on a whim as a deadline loomed for publishing and he’s regretted ever since. Great song, a true musical legend of a man.
20. Sweet Nothing – Gabrielle Aplin (Light Up The Dark)
This has a nice melody but it’s all about the key change that drops… It’s wonderful how music affects you with something so simple.
In summary, my album of the year is Black Rivers so that had to be in here. And the music video for Age of Innocence is my favourite of the year, just watch those hips swing! Years & Years were the band that I didn’t expect to like but I always found myself singing along to, and they seem to have enjoyed real commercial success in 2015. The Cribs was the best live gig I attended and they sound as fresh as ever. The Libertines comeback was an amazing moment for me personally, and it definitely sets things up nicely for 2016…
21. Break Me Down – Paul Smith and The Intimations (Contradictions)
22. Turning Back Around – Rhodes (Turning Back Around EP)
I go through phases where there is a song that I play on loop and don’t tire of it. This was that song this year, and I feel very much like I did when I first heard Villagers and a demo of Becoming a Jackal (2010) and he went on to get Mecury Music Prize nomination.
23. Oino – LA Priest
24. Different Angle – The Cribs (For All My Sisters)
25. Age Of Innocence – Black Rivers (Black Rivers)
Jez & Andy Williams aka the twin brothers from Doves will always have a place in my heart, but it isn’t just sentiment that makes me include this, it’s got a real drive to it, took me a while to realise who was behind it when I first heard it. All I knew was that it was very agreeable with my ears. I think our Twitter follower puts it better:
— karen plaice (@kazplaice) September 23, 2015
26. Swarm – The Bohicas (The Making Of)
27. Gunga Din – The Libertines (Anthems for Doomed Youth)
Surely the most anticipated album of 2015 came from The Libertines and the lead single shows there’s still a few chapters left to write between Carl & Pete.
28. Dream Lover – The Vaccines (English Graffiti)
29. King – Years & Years (Communion)
30. Love Me – The 1975 (I Like It When You Sleep, for You Are So Beautiful Yet So Unaware of It)
*subject to change as there are still a day to go until the end